Leaf spring steel?
Posted 20 April 2007 - 05:39 PM
Posted 21 April 2007 - 06:19 PM
Posted 21 April 2007 - 10:15 PM
I'm new here, but saw the post and thought I'd chime in. Blackbeard, you got yourself a sure-nuff piece of knifemaking steel! Leaf spring is usually really good steel. Most leaf springs are made from 5160, which is an excellent blade steel. 5160 is my primary blade steel for just that reason. If you can get a coil spring, and straighten it out, that's usually good steel too. You want to heat a small piece of your steel to orange-hot, quench it in oil (transmission fluid or vegetable oil will work) that's heated to about 90 degrees (you can heat the oil by dropping a heated piece of steel in it before you quench the test piece). Once the test piece is cooled, run a file across it - it will probably slide like it's on glass, which is what you want. If steel gets that hard and resists a file like that, then it's probably good for making knives. Otherwise, if it was me, I'd forge it down to shape using a hammer and an anvil-like object (I say that because a 100# piece of granite will work for an anvil...). If you're going to grind it, or use files to shape it, anneal it first. 5160 is super tough stuff, and is not easy to grind or file. Anneal by heating to orange, and burying in about 2 feet of vermiculite, wood ash or ashes from a bbq grill (make sure there's no charcoal in there or it'll ignite!), or even burying in about 2ft. of dirt. Leave it for at least 6 hrs, if not longer. The longer and slower the steel cools, the easier it is to grind or file on. If it cools too fast, it'll harden up and Hercules wouldn't be able to shape it. If you're really interested in learning how to make knives, get a copy of Wayne Goddard's $50 knife shop. I've been forging for about 6 years and I still use that book as an information source. Any questions, please feel free to email me. Happy knifemaking, dude!
Posted 22 April 2007 - 07:08 AM
Posted 22 April 2007 - 10:04 PM
I like leaf springs because you can cut them into smaller pieces or draw them out if you want smaller knives, but the width and thickness of the springs can make for a real big knife. Not to mention they're easy to get!
Posted 23 April 2007 - 09:46 AM
I ran into a microalloy strain hardened spring one time, nearly drove me bats as it would not quench harden; not even in brine!.
Living in an area where the roads can be pretty bad I'd watch out for micro cracked pieces; *but* places that make custom springs will usually give you drops (or sell it to you for scrap price) *and* can tell you what alloy it is to boot!
I had a student who used to work for a company that built ambulence/EMT vehicles and the first thing they did was to take off the brand new springs and junk them, (only milage was from the manufacturer delivery point to the shop where they were re-built.) Sigh had to leave most of my scrap when I moved 1500 miles away.
Posted 23 April 2007 - 10:02 AM
Posted 23 April 2007 - 12:10 PM
We loaded it all on pallets and then the truck was 2 weeks late and everything was out in the thunderstorms while I was 1500 miles away back at work. More rain damage than move damage. Took a flat bed semi + 3 pallets went common carrier cause we ran out of room on the semi.
Don't plan to move again!
I used to give away stuff all the time as I could find it faster than I could use it and so would share the wealth.
Posted 23 April 2007 - 05:14 PM
I wish I lived nearby. knowlege and stuff, two great tastes taste great together
carpe malleus, lorem eget. pax, paul
In reality, there are only four basic treatments a blacksmith can make to iron; Drawing, upsetting, bending and twisting. When one has truly mastered these four treatments, one may consider one's self a blacksmith. - arftist
Posted 23 April 2007 - 07:07 PM
Posted 23 April 2007 - 07:25 PM
I wouldn't recommend using them for anything but practice as mentioned above there can be some serious problems with cracks, add that to the fact that you are swag-ing as far as what it is really...
However I do use them when I run out of cut offs for axe bit/tommahawk edges as the welding will pretty much remove the cracks from the equation...but then again..what do I know anyways???
New 5160 is not all that expensive and as Mr Powers said you can always scrounge automotive spring makers for their "scrap" and get it for pennies a pound usually....
Posted 24 April 2007 - 12:35 PM
Now I live where you can see them coming for a couple of day's walk at least and the attach mesquite, goatheads and cactus are always on guard.
Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:31 AM
Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:37 AM
Posted 27 April 2007 - 06:01 PM
I'm new here, but saw the post and thought I'd chime in. Blackbeard, you got yourself a sure-nuff piece of knifemaking steel!...........................
Thanks for the info Blademaker I appreciate it. Glad to hear the spring steel is suitable for knives. Thanks Ill e-mail if I need help.
Posted 27 April 2007 - 06:03 PM
Posted 27 April 2007 - 07:20 PM
Thanks App man! Cant wait to see your next creations!!
Thanks. Signed my first blade with my S, and serial number in the ring hilt series today(the one posted on the other thread), number 4.
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